Would you buy a Porsche long distance again?
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Thread: Would you buy a Porsche long distance again?

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    Would you buy a Porsche long distance again?

    I've bought three cars (two Porsches, one BMW) long distance via internet listings (Cars, Autotrader, Craigslist, etc.). I'm sure I've made some buying mistakes, but for the most part I feel I did my due diligence with each purchase. My latest purchase is a 2007 Cayman S that I found in Florida. I asked all the right questions, requested all the right photos, received all the proper records, had the PPI, etc., etc., etc. After feeling there were more pros than cons to buying the car, I had it shipped to me in March.

    I started my search with a 100 mile radius. The search results were pathetic. Most months there were absolutely no cars fitting my criteria. So I increased the radius to 250 miles. A few more results but still didn't find the Porsche I could afford. Needless to say my search criteria quickly became "any distance." Prices were more competitive, and more pages of cars fitting my search criteria filled my computer screen. But it just, for me at least, isn't reasonable to fly to see a car in Florida. So I took the educated, informed, illuminated, enlightened risk and bought the car.

    While I'm happy with this car and the ones I bought in the past, I think I'll pay (likely) substantially more and wait (likely) many months for cars that I can personally inspect.

    The last few days I've been polishing 10 years of swirls out of the paint. I expected and the seller admitted the finish of the car reflected 10 years of use. But now that I've seen the car in person, close up, I think the umbrella statement of "It's ten years old" may have a bit vague. Now, I'm not upset; in fact, I like the challenge of bringing the paint finish back to life. But in retrospect, I don't think I'll buy another car without seeing it in person.

    So, if you have purchased cars long distance and not inspected them in person, would you do it again? Any hard lessons learned?
    Last edited by black987; 05-25-2017 at 08:36 PM.
    2007 Black Cayman S
    Manual
    Stock with the exception of cosmetic modifications

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    Re: Would you buy a Porsche long distance again?

    I purchased my '14 Cayman S long distance.
    While my preference was to purchase locally, my dilemma was finding a vehicle 'dressed' in the right way - I figured the price was a negotiable item once I found the vehicle.
    My quest for a Porsche is over 3 decades old...sidelined by family, divorce, NEW life/new wife, kids in college. Now that debt is paid, I reached a goal.
    I was only able to test drive boxsters locally to get a feel for the options I read about or realized I wanted. I originally rented a cayman while on vacation to get a feel for the car (more than a test drive)- that I was in the market for. My intention was for a car that could be a daily driver and would be a long term vehicle.

    I did my due diligence and had questions, the dealership that i purchased from was very communicative and provided me with all of the info and close up pictures that I asked for. While I debated flying to S. Carolina to test drive and possibly purchase - My job / work load did not allow for the time impact -I decided to purchase because of the responsiveness and information provided by the dealer.

    Would I do it again? It would depend on the situation - vehicle, seller, price.
    there have only been 2 dealerships / sales reps that that I have purchased from and enjoyed the experience - I am glad that my '14CS was one of those.

    I might add that my budget for a Cayman kept increasing by about 5K every month. My search began with a Beck 550 replica or 914-2.0 desire...not being able to 'work' on it due to lack of time (and other factors), I figured I could get a 987.1 - which grew into a desire for a 987.2. Falling in love with the 981 styling...and wanting a flat6...it was then a choice of Base or S. I knew that once I began trying to justify a GTS to myself....I needed to make a purchase...or I would soon be looking at a GT4. My wife already thought I was 'out there'...Love her for supporting my dream!
    Last edited by Caymian; 05-25-2017 at 10:26 PM.
    '14 Cayman S: PDK, Luxor Beige, White Gauges, F-R Park Assist, Rear Wiper, Heated-Ventilated seats, 20" Carrerra Classic, PDLS, PSP
    Upgrades: NavTV Backup Camera,Zunsport grills, Fabspeed Sport Headers, PSE, Cobb AP/PDK, AWE Foiler

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    Re: Would you buy a Porsche long distance again?

    What you are really taking about here is buying a car sight unseen. I have bought cars at a distance before, well up to a couple of hundred miles anyway, but I have never bought a car sight unseen. As you have discovered there are no amount of photos that can clearly show you the condition of the paint. Small stone chips, paint swirls are all invisible to the camera. So for me I might indeed buy a car in Florida, but I would never buy a car sight unseen by me personally.

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    Re: Would you buy a Porsche long distance again?

    About 3 months ago I decided to replace my truck with a Cayenne. I went to the local dealer and drove a couple different models of the Cayenne - both new and used. While I liked the hybrid I decided that its lack of towing capacity took it out of the running, the diesel was ok but I felt that "I" would not be happy with a diesel. That left the S or a turbo. Decided I wanted a late model S and I wanted a bright color. None available locally and none in the pipeline locally. Logged on to the Porsche site and used the used car locater and found a 2017 Cayenne S in red in UT. Got the sales person to send me photos and videos of the car -- and since it had less than 3k miles on it I figured it should not be too bad, also a CPO car. After I looked at the photos and video it looked fantastic but I guessed I was not going to be happy with it until I had a full paint correction and detail - especially since I have had the paint correction and detail done to each of my last 5 cars. Negotiated a reasonable price and scheduled the car transport.
    Now the frustrations started - the transport worked great but not as efficiently as I naively expected - I had thought never having done this before that I would call the transport company and they would pick it up the next day and be here 2 or 3 days later-- not quite how that worked - they would not have a truck in the area for a week or so. So in my mind I "lost a week plus" in getting it here. (I will say the transport was excellent in that the driver kept me informed every day and the car was extremely well cared for.) The next problem crept up in the form of a devil of a time in getting the title to me so that I could register it here in VA. Lots of misinformation from the dealer's folks resulted in me spending way too much time talking to the dealer, UT DMV and VA DMV trying to track down the paperwork.
    The car was not quite as pristine as the dealer described and as expected from the photos and videos. As stated earlier, the paint swirls and and minor scratches were invisible to the camera. The wheels have evidently been "touched up" as there is a blend of matt and shiny areas to the paint. At this point I was really glad I had mentally added the cost of a paint correction and detail to the equation. In fact, it was bad enough that it took 5 days for my paint magician to do his magic (usually only takes 3 days for a compete job). In his words - "the light scratches in the doors and sides about kicked my as$". He managed to finally work his usual magic and I am ecstatic with his work on this car!!
    In summary -- I would definitely do it again and a) would not have to see it in person assuming I got an excellent set of photos and video - and that I accepted that I was going to have to paint correct /detail the car; b) have a firm understanding with the dealer how the paperwork was going to be handled and the timing of all of the paperwork; and c) understand that it would take 2 - 3 weeks from purchase to receipt if I am shipping it. That said, I would much rather have been able to buy exactly what I wanted from my local dealer but then wouldn't we all prefer that!!!!
    Mike E
    VA, USA
    Current - 2013 Carrera S Cabriolet - Dark Blue Metallic, Black Roof, PDK. Chrono, Sport Wheel, Black/Luxor Beige interior, PASM, PTV, 20" Techno

    Past
    2013 Boxster S, Guards Red, Black Leather, PDK, 20 Carrera Classic, PDLS, Chrono, Sports Seats, Infotainment. Mods - 7/15 spacers, FVD Sound Exhaust, Sport Steering Wheel

    2006 Cayman S, Guards Red, Tan Leather, 6-speed

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    Re: Would you buy a Porsche long distance again?

    Almost 4 years ago, we purchased a 2009 Audi A4 for my wife from an Audi dealer in NJ, about a thousand miles away. It was the car she wanted based on color, options, etc. PPI showed no problems. We purchased the car and had it shipped by their recommended transporter. All went reasonably well with the transport. Before the car was unloaded, I noticed that the underneath of the side view mirror was damaged. It was apparently missed by both the PPI and the salesrep. I sent a repair quote and he paid for it 100%, no problems. One of the options my wife insisted on was heated seats which we were told this car had but discovered after it arrived that it did not. The rep claims to have never seen an Audi of this year with the option package and not have heated seats. I believe he was telling the truth and he compensated us after the car had arrived and the deal was done. All turned out OK (wife has since gotten used to not having heated seats), however, I would take the time to fly out and inspect the car personally next time.

    When I purchased my 2014 CS last year from a Chicago independent dealer, the excellent images online looked like the paint was perfect as it did when I inspected it in person outside. The day was overcast and it was not until I had the car under my garage lights back home that it was evident the previous owner enjoyed the local car wash- brushes and all. I was able to bring it back to life but not without many hours of deep polishing. The lesson here is to inspect the car in person under sunny skies or artificial lighting.

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    Re: Would you buy a Porsche long distance again?

    I just recently bought mine long distance.... Thought I had missed the boat when the Caymans went the 4 cylinder route...

    I really wanted a NA six... Nothing on the local dealers lot... Started running ever widening circles from my house...

    Found what I wanted, brand new 2016 Cayman S, but had to drive 377 miles in 6-1/2 hours to get it...

    Drove down to Tennessee early on a Saturday morning... Took it for a test drive...

    They put it up on the lift and I did an inspection on the underside.... Everything looked great...

    They gave me a super price and I drove it home the same day...

    I realize the OP ment used... But mine was still a long distance purchase...

    And I'm thrilled I snatched the 3.4 six....

    The crazy thing was........ they had a red 2016 and a 2015 blue Cayman, both new never titled on the showroom floor....
    Last edited by Snip's; 05-26-2017 at 02:58 PM.

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    Re: Would you buy a Porsche long distance again?

    Quote Originally Posted by RickH View Post
    What you are really taking about here is buying a car sight unseen. I have bought cars at a distance before, well up to a couple of hundred miles anyway, but I have never bought a car sight unseen. As you have discovered there are no amount of photos that can clearly show you the condition of the paint. Small stone chips, paint swirls are all invisible to the camera. So for me I might indeed buy a car in Florida, but I would never buy a car sight unseen by me personally.
    It can be done. I bought my '91 911 Targa sight unseen. Well, that's not entirely correct. I drove by the dealers lot on the way to the airport for an out-of-town business trip and I saw the car sitting in the front of the used car lot. So I did see it.

    The circumstances were that I knew the manager of the dealer very well, having had a multi year relationship with him. After I arrived in Baltimore, my business trip destination, I called him up on the phone, asked a few questions about the car, and told him to write up the paperwork. When I got back into town after the deal was sealed, he handed me the keys and I drove off in the car without even a test drive.


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    Re: Would you buy a Porsche long distance again?

    Yes I would.
    2011 CS / PDK / SportDesign Wheel / Sport Chrono Plus
    Carnewal GT CR exhaust / Fabspeed Tips / CR suspension
    19” O.Z. Leggera HLT / Michelin PS4S

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    Re: Would you buy a Porsche long distance again?

    Sight unseen, no, unless it was a factory order like my 981. But if it was the right car at the right price (indeed, at the right time), I'd have no compunction about taking a one way plane ticket to inspect, hopefully purchase, and drive a desired car all the way back home. I've already done that once...
    2015 Boxster GTS - Anthracite Brown Metallic on Amber Orange/Agate Grey; 6-speed, PASM, PTV, 18-way seats.... and one lousy stock stereo

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